Coca-Cola “Contour” Bottle

Earl Dean and Alexander Samuelson, 1915

  1. Frustrated by imitators in the early 1900s, the Coca-Cola Company launched a competition among its bottlers to develop a new bottle design that would distinguish it from competitors. The design brief read: “We need a new bottle — a distinctive package that will help us fight substitution … we need a bottle which a person will recognize as a Coca-Cola bottle even if he feels it in the dark. The bottle should be shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell what it was.” Seeking inspiration from the key ingredients of Coca-Cola at the time, the coca leaf and kola nut, designers from the Root Glass Company either mistakenly (or serendipitously) based their designs on a picture ...

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